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Book Review: Neil Young FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker by Glen Boyd

Book Review: Neil Young FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker by Glen Boyd

Everybody knows that a standard issue rock biography or online lists of stats and facts is nowhere near being gratifying enough for a fervent fan, especially when it comes to the expect-the-unexpected but prolific and almost willingly perverse Neil Young. There are other artists and examples just as confounding to the fair-weather fan that spring to mind: Bob Dylan with his restless penchant for perennial retooling, Elvis Costello’s spice-spiked variety platters, the hejira and hissing of some free-spirited promise by Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed’s ever-new sensations and metal-machine maneuvering, and the chameleonic David Bowie doing his, oh, chameleonic thing, among others.

The long-haulers among the Neil Young faithful, however, know that though there may be detours and ditches, all roads really lead to an iconoclastic and individualistic adventurousness seemingly ingrained within the fierce independence of this uncompromising artist. Forever young and still rockin’ in the free world (well, 28 countries, to be precise in what must be a frequently answered question), Neil Young has released, in the span of his career since his 1968 departure from the Buffalo Springfield: 34 solo albums, eight live albums, 33 studio albums, 59 singles, and four soundtracks. He has also released five albums with Buffalo Springfield; 12 albums with Crazy Horse; five albums with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; and one album each with Graham Nash, The Squires, The Stills-Young Band, the Shocking Pinks, the Bluenotes, and the Restless.

As for his performances, according to one statistician, Young has logged 88 tours, 1800 shows, with nearly 29,600 songs played live. And this isn’t even including the concerts with his various bands and side projects, and, of course, his Motown years with the pre-braided, super-freaky Rick James.

Can’t forget the Motor City–and a short-lived early stint with the early-’60s group the Mynah Birds fronted by Young and the also short-lived punk-funk pioneer. However, after the American naval authorities got in touch with the can’t-touch-this, AWOL Ricky James Matthews, the music world would have to spin without–as author Glen Boyd puts it in his exhaustive, and no doubt exhaustingly researched–treasure trove of all things Young, the “world’s first ever folk-rock-punk-funk supergroup.” Though I’m not sure that Young was inclined to master the “Temptation Walk,” or bust some other choreographic moves, the prospect would have at least made the Mynah Birds, minus-Rick James, one of Motown’s first all white groups-and if you think that that distinction falls to the chartbusting Rare Earth, you’d be wrong.

Read more: www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/blogcritics/article/Book-Review-Neil-Young-FAQ-Everything

Waging Heavy Peace excerpt

Neil-Young_Waging-Heavy-Peace_cover Lone Red Rider reports:
Check out this free e-book which contains, amongst a lot of other things, an exerpt of Neil’s forthcoming book:

publishersmarketplace.com/bea/2012/BuzzBook.html

Links to various ereader services included. Select the one which is relevant to you. I went the google play route since I had an account already set up.

Neil’s all over the map in this exerpt. But it’s nice to experience his “voice” over many topics we have come to be familiar with.

____________
Thanks, oz.

Neil Young FAQ book (for bridge school)

Boyd has never met Young in person but if he had the chance to ask him a question it would be, “Why are your ticket prices so damn high?”

but neverthless he writes for West Seattle and donates for bridgeschool.org:


Neil Young FAQ is a career milestone for West Seattle writer Glen Boyd

By Patrick Robinson, 05/10/2012, West Seattle

Glen Boyd has been to many concerts during his career as a music writer but among his top music experiences were those provided by the kaleidoscopic talent that is Neil Young.

The West Seattle writer’s admiration and knowledge of Young’s music has finally proven to be very useful, since he was tapped to author a new book, Neil Young FAQ- Everything Left To Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker just published in softcover by Backbeat Books.

“This book is part of a series they do called FAQ. Robert Rodriguez started it by writing two books about the Beatles, Fab Four FAQ and Fab Four FAQ 2.0 and he got in touch with me about three years ago out of clear blue sky. He said, ‘I’ve seen your writing on the internet and I think you’re a really good writer. Would you be interested in doing something for our series?’ It was completely unexpected. I was amazed.”

Boyd at one time, shortly after high school, wrote for the West Seattle Herald doing music and concert reviews, but his career later vaulted to the national stage and includes writing for SPIN magazine, The Source and Tower Records Pulse as R&B Editor. Prior to those high profile gigs he was a contributing editor at Seattle’s own The Rocket for ten years. He also worked for famous music producer Rick Rubin in Los Angeles as Director of Retail Marketing for Def American. Along the way Boyd also became friends with Seattle’s own Sir Mix-A-Lot and for six years hosted KCMU FM’s Rap Attack.

But it was his writing for BlogCritics.org that got him noticed by Rodriguez.

“They gave me a list of artists to do an “FAQ” on and it came down to Springsteen, Neil Young or Dylan. Sprinsteen, someone was doing, and Dylan would be too impossible to do. Dylan is like Shakespeare. But Neil was kind of a logical choice. I’m a huge fan of his, going way way back. I know an awful lot about him and I’m very aware of his entire history. Once you actually start writing something like this though and you start researching it, there’s so much that you find out you didn’t know.”

The 385 page book published by Backbeat Books (a division of Hal Leonard Corporation) took Boyd about 2 years to pull all the threads together. It meant doing exhaustive research into studio work, live performances and reviewing his own personal experiences.

Boyd shared just a couple of the more remarkable items in the book.

“Did you know that Neil recorded a New Age album? It was called Meadow Dusk and it was never released,” said Boyd, “people who have heard it, describe it as the sound of crickets farting.”

“The album ‘Comes A Time’, when Neil got back the first pressing he hated it so much that he actually went out and bought 200,000 copies of it himself (from the record company) and shot bullet holes through them. He did not want it getting out there until the problems as he perceived them with the recording were corrected.”

“The book is full of facts like that (…) If you are a Neil Young expert you are still going to learn things you didn’t know.”

Boyd said the most remarkable thing about Young is that he remains relevant and vital well into his fifth decade of making music. But more amazing is that the music ranges from bluegrass, to rockabilly, to folk, to hard rock and experiments with many other forms. Not all have been well received but Young’s passion and creative drive have few equals.

Counting his solo and live albums, and his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, his discography spans 50 albums.

The glue that binds Young’s work together according to Boyd is the songwriting.

Neil Young FAQ covers every song and album in great detail and includes bootlegs and such lost recordings as Homegrown, Chrome Dreams, and Toast.

There are also more than 80 images in the book, many never before published from live performances to otherwise obscure moments.

The book is available on Amazon.com and other online sites and will be available in brick and mortar locations soon.

Boyd is considering two ideas for his next book, one of which would be another FAQ book on old school hip hop covering artists such as Run DMC and NWA.

Boyd’s West Seattle roots are celebrated in the dedication to his journalism teacher at West Seattle High School.

Boyd writes, “This book is lovingly dedicated to Dorothea “Miss Moo” Mootafes who recognized and encouraged my writing talent even as I likely put several gray hairs on her head. Putting up with my antics back then alone qualifies Miss Moo for sainthood. The fact that she somehow saw a potential writer in an otherwise hell-raising teenager obsessed with rock n’ roll was probably the first event in my young life that eventually made this book possible. So, Miss Moo, this is for you. I’d also like to dedicate this to my grandma. Theresa “Nana” Guyll, who took me to my first Neil Young concert (actually it was a CSN&Y show) as a thirteen year old boy. God bless you, Nana, and I hope that they have earplugs in heaven.”
Boyd has never met Young in person but if he had the chance to ask him a question it would be, “Why are your ticket prices so damn high?”

You can meet Glen Boyd in person at a book signing being held in Ballard Friday, June 1, 2012 at 7:00pm at Harry’s Haven 5016 20th Ave NW, Seattle, WA.

If you wish to purchase a copy of the book at this event, please notify Harry via private message, post on this event, or via email at mail@harryo.com — all proceeds from book sales will benefit the Bridge School http://bridgeschool.org/

The Bridge School is an alternative learning institution for children with severe learning and communication disabilities. Being the parent of two children with such disabilities, Neil Young is a longtime supporter, and headlines an all-star benefit concert each year for the Bridge School, while Neil’s wife Pegi sits on the board of directors.

NOTE: You can find more of Boyd’s writing on his personal sites-The World Wide Glen – http://theglenblog.blogspot.com and The Rockologist – http://www.therockologist.com

http://www.westseattleherald.com/2012/05/10/features/neil-young-faq-career-milestone-west-seattle-

Neil’s Autobio and related talk “Waging heavy peace”

Neil-Young_Waging-Heavy-Peace_ book cover PEOPLE: Neil Young to speak at book convention
Saturday, March 24, 2012

NEW YORK — Neil Young has a special gig in New York City this June at the annual publishing convention, BookExpo America.

The convention’s organizers said the rock star will speak June 6 about his upcoming memoir, “Waging Heavy Peace,” scheduled to come out this fall. Young, 66, is known for such songs as “Heart of Gold,” “Southern Man” and “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

He will speak on stage at the Jacob Javits Center with an interviewer to be named later. One possibility: Stephen Colbert, who has interviewed Young on his Comedy Central show and is already a featured speaker at BookExpo.

Neil autobiography: Waging Heavy Peace

the Neil Young autobiography, on pre-order at Amazon:

Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young (Oct 2, 2012)

“The intention is to cover pretty much everything — growing up, music, life.”

Random Quote

“But if crying and holding on
And flying on the ground is wrong
Then I\'m sorry to let you down,
But you\'re from my side of town
And I miss you. ”

by -- Neil Young

Neil Young on Tour

  • Neil Young on Tour

Sugar Mountain setlists

Tom Hambleton provides BNB with setlists, thankfully. His website is the most comprehensive searchable archives on the Internets about anything Neil Young related setlists. Goto Sugar Mountain.

Other Neil News

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Rust Radio

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HH-Radio + NY Info

  • http://www.neil-young.info/
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Human Highway

  • http://www.human-highway.org/

Oh My Darling Clementine

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